Monday, December 29, 2008
Along the way, we made a detour to see the Natural Bridge and the spectacular Foamhenge - a replica of Stonehenge made out of, you guessed it, foam. Clearly this year's trip is a big departure from our big trip last December, which took us to the real Stonehenge. Still, it is no less memorable.
Alas, after a full-day of driving, we didn't make it to Nashville...yet - we're camping out in a hotel in Kingsport, TN until the wee morning hours.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
After lunch, we decided that rather than hit the rainy Outer Banks we'd head north to D.C. We arrived in Alexandria at around 8 p.m. and that was our day. Day 3 will be better!
Friday, December 26, 2008
- 3 incredibly nasty public restrooms
- 1 mini container of Pringles
- 4 pieces of Grannie's fudge
- 1 incredibly disappointing trip to the Grove Park Inn, which resulted in a quick reservation cancellation (despite incredibly gracious service)
- 1 inland sushi dinner (which was pleasant, at least until tomorrow)
Day 1 took us from the ATL where Troy was nursing a cold or the flu; to Highlands, NC, which we drove through in a flash thanks to plenty of rain and fog; to Cashiers, NC (aka No-man's-land); to Asheville, where we've had one misadventure after another. I'm already longing for home - and it's been less than 9 hours.
Things are starting to look up though - there's a Lindy Hop convention at our hotel! :) Here's to a third glass of wine before we go watch 'em.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Each year, thousands of Santas descend upon NYC in their holiday finery for Santacon, which is reminiscent to me of Mardi Gras or Gasparilla Day. Fueled by alcohol and creativity, these Santas bring the holiday to life - at least in their own, wild and crazy drunken way. I was witness to Santacon in person one year, not knowing what I'd stumbled onto and it was pure bedlam. Apparently there are Santacons in cities spanning the country - I've never seen one in Atlanta, but maybe it's time to start spreading the word for 2009.
Friday, December 12, 2008
I think I can attribute my many obsessions to traffic-induced daydreaming. What do I daydream about - a twisted permutation of stuff which quickly become my obsessions du jour (or du month). Here's what I'm obsessing about now:
The Black Ghosts and Arcade Fire for my musical entertainment
Lipstick Jungle, Gossip Girl and Top Chef
The crazy Christmas minivan I saw the other day covered in lights and driving in my morning commute (I hope to see it again to snap a pic)
Rob Pattinson (see obsession with everything Twilight above)
Brooke Shields (see Lipstick Jungle, and she looks better than ever!)
Monday, December 8, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Last month's word was "Terroir," which is worthy of a post in and of itself. I love the word because it is impossible to say. I was wracking my brain for weeks around how to say it properly - and then, voila, at the JS retreat our wine tasting guide (aka sommelier) said it! OK, pronunciation time - tear whar. Now I've seen it in an ad for Kendall Jackson. Who knows where it will pop up next. BTW, it loosely means "sense of place."
This month's word is "Trotting." A trot is a speeded-up walk, almost a run. My dog Collier is a great trotter. Horses all trot, so do pigs, cows, and people too. Just get a mental picture of it - "let's go trotting." Hilarious.
I can't wait to see what next month brings - I promise it won't be anything too cerebral.
Monday, December 1, 2008
So when I posted my first musings about Twilight a few weeks ago, I had no idea what sort of phenom I stumbled upon. I thought I just found a great song. Then a good movie. I saw the movie, and was interested in buying the book - which was pretty much sold out, BTW. Now, I'm gradually uncovering the world of Twilighters, some of whom are my friends that I had no idea had discovered the phenomenon before me. I am sinking my teeth into the first book now and can only hope to find the three sequels soon. Need a Christmas idea for one of your friends or loved ones? This may be the ticket - especially if she's a teen or middle-aged girl in need of a major distraction.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Yesterday my mom was feeling well enough to go for a drive. We hit the road and over the hills we went to Swansons, an amazing "hidden" gem on Seattle's northern side. I had no idea what I was in for - how great can a nursery be? As an admitted dirt-phobe, it made me want to "play in the dirt again" and break out my spade - and, it really got me in the mood for Christmas!
First stop, the reindeer pen, where two full-sized reindeer were taking a little nap before waking for their afternoon snack. Their hairy noses were so cute, and we got buttons with their likeness in exchange for a donation to the local humane society. Next up, the holiday train set. Then inside for a peppermint mocha and some Christmas shopping. It was pure bliss! If only my local Pike's Family Nursery would take some notes.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Twilight HD Trailer
Twilight, a new vampire movie out in theaters on Nov. 20, looks good enough to take me out of my repressed childhood sheets and blankets covering my head every night for fear of getting bitten by a vampire phase. Every 10 or so years vampires have their day in the sun (er, moonlight) and this year's version features a British import in the title role, pegged as "the sexiest vampire" by People. I don't know much more about it yet except that it also features a new Paramore song that I like -- a lot. I'm going to check it out. After all, it is the first movie since Sex and the City that has piqued my interest this year -- and it'll be a fun outing after I'm full of Thanksgiving turkey.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The second is the High's installation of more than 100 Chinese warriors from the First Emperor's Terracotta Army. Touted as the 8thWonder of the World, the Army's discovery was one of the greatest archaeological finds in the 20th Century. Both begin this fall, so buy tickets now before they're gone.
See, Atlanta's not just about hip-hop wives and their bling - take that Real Housewives!
Monday, October 20, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
1. Get Outside! Ride your bike, plant a garden, walk the dogs, roll in the grass (I saw a cute dog doing this on the way home, looked like fun!)
2. Sell some stuff - Clean out your closet, garage, junk drawers and sell it all - I'm a big advocate for throwing away too, but some people don't like to get rid of stuff, so why not try posting on eBay or have a garage sale?
3. Check out the local scene - Anyone ever wander their own neighborhood anymore? There are great finds to to be had - personally, I love my local French bakery; and C'est Moi for glamorous accessories, furniture, coffee table books and much, much more; local nail salon; and pet supply store where my dog and I go to watch the hamsters and ferrets for hours.
4. People watch in the gas line - Go watch road rage at its finest at your local gas station. Take some pictures while you're at it.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Gwyneth Paltrow is copying me. I'm very disturbed, because I can't compete with her money or influence -- and of course, she's married to one of the most amazing men on God's green earth.
I saw tonight that she's just launched a new web site called GOOP - I guess it's a Gwyneth co-op of sorts. Really, all she did is steal my concept for Itgredients and post it on a real web site instead of just a lowly old blog. What's next? She's going to ask for the help of friends and strangers to buy some old dilapidated French Chateau and try to open a bed and breakfast? Geez - can't people be original anymore?
P.s. - Just kidding, I think she's fabulous and if she read Itgredients, I'd be thrilled!
P.p.s - Sign up for her newsletter now to get her tips when the site fully launches.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
The oh-so-serious, holy grail of business -- The Wall Street Journal -- is seeing new life with a trendy take a la the New York Times. This Sunday marked the first edition of the paper's new magazine WSJ - and I like it! The team of contributors dug for some good stuff and the web site design is a marketer's dream, a few highlights:
- Designer Roland Mouret makes a dress out of WSJs
- McMansion backlash
- Deltalina's sultry airplane safety video
- Poochi Gucci doggy photo shoot
Nice work! Hope you enjoy.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Mrs. Stimler has apparently suffered some sort of memory lapse or stroke, and wore her bra on the outside. I know some of us have had Sundays like that where our brains are checked at the door. Mine was today. I went to book club and seriously had to check myself to make sure my underwear wasn't on the outside. When I got there, I felt much better after a fellow book clubber (who shall remain nameless) said she went to the pool one day, took off her cover up and had a bathing suit top on with her underwear. Here's to giving our brains a break.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
If you're not into black food, how about purple, coral or ruby red? Try these rice varietals from Alter Eco, a French-based company focused on fair trade and sustainable products, that was featured on Martha Stewart today. You can both create a beautiful meal and feel good about it in the process.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Here are two of my favorite finds - Ashcroft with Coldplay at Live 8 (the highlight of the multi-day concert and Bob Geldof benefit) and a great love song that is not available on iTunes (yet)! I expect with the release of the new Verve album his music will get some rekindled recognition.
A Song for the Lovers
Friday, August 22, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Speaking of Coldplay, the v2 video for Viva la Vida is a must-see.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Katie honey, I think you have great style, but I'm going to have to say no on this one.
Monday, August 11, 2008
For the remaining hot days, try a black tank and white jeans with wedges, or a simple black tank dress with flats or thong sandles. Don't forget your trusty cardigan just in case of arctic blasts once inside!
Friday, August 8, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
After getting your fix of the big city, take a short train ride down to Alexandria. With its airy waterfront locale and amazingly beautiful and quaint historic buildings, you can almost feel our forefathers in the air. At the Torpedo Factory (yes, they did make torpedoes there once), local artists showcase their wares in dozens of studios. One of my favorites is Lisa Schumaier. Her Raku animals, monsters and people are so devilishly clever. I've got the "Smarter Monster" waiting for me to send for him.Lisa introduced me to her friend Kathy Beynette, who is a painter. Kathy's work is also on my wish list - the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood reading a book or zebras speaking French schoolbook phrases, how can you get any better?
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
If you build it, they will come - that's my new mantra. This itgredients blog is not about me - but I've made one that is. It's about my dream to own a French Chateau and how I'm going to get there. I've never been one to ask for help - but I'm asking for it now. Visit my new blog, read about my journey, bookmark it and share my dream with your friends, family, coworkers, anyone...
Thursday, July 24, 2008
As our Olympians begin their long journey to China, a special kind of athlete is also preparing for the trip. America's equestrian team is loading up their athletes of the hooved sort for a long journey to the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
As anyone who loves horses knows, these equine athletes are the true stars in this show - and at more than a million dollars a pop, they should be. I hope NBC's coverage includes some of the competition - usually it's relegated to the overnights.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Belts - belts are exciting! Belts for fall are exciting - like little jewelboxes for your waist. I have to confess, I haven't worn a belt since college, but all of a sudden I decided I had to have a belt. Not just any belt, a thick belt - but not a corset-like belt a la Sex and the City - those are so passe. Find something unique, that fits your style and wear it to your heart's content.
Food - food is always lots of fun! Today we had a snow cone truck come to work, I know, what kind of job has a snow cone truck come to work? I'm so lucky. Snow cones make great summer snacks - if you're in Atlanta track down the Orleagian Snowballs truck at Ponce and Moreland - or, even better, have them come to your next party.
OK, I'm tapped out for today - must be the sugar setting in.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Conversely, I have also been predicting a major return of the prepster for some time. While boat shoes (or Docksiders, topsiders, whatever you call them) are back in a big way this summer, keep an eye out for even more signs of the times (recession, anyone?) to make their 80's style mark as our economy continues to falter. Watch out for even more severe bobs, Barbour jackets, turned-up collars on starched polos, gold-link bracelets and Rolexes, vintage BMWs, totes and duffle bags. I haven't begun to see the signs in stores yet, so I may be ahead of the curve on this by at least a season or two, but I'd be willing to bet the farm on it. For a hint, check out the ultimate preppy band, Vampire Weekend. They're my new fave for weekends on the boat.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I love a good road trip - or even a plane trip, despite the fact that flying is torture. A favorite road trip is just 1 and 1/2 hours away in Chattanooga -- an eclectic little town surrounded by mountains and water, kitschy activities -- and surprisingly good food.
If you're thinking of a trip, here are some of my faves:
Dogs need weekends too! Pets are welcome at the Sheraton Read House an historic hotel in the center of Chattanooga's business district. The Read House is the Old South at its finest, and also features the best of the 20th Century with a Starbucks on the lobby level.For dinner or happy hour, the Boathouse is the perfect option. Off the beaten path in an industrial area, it overlooks the river -- perfect for sunset views. Get your garlic fix with their amazing roasted garlic oil - the chunks of garlic are like candy.
The most important meal of the day, breakfast, couldn't get better than sitting outside on the patio at the Back Inn Cafe in the Arts District. Another breakfast option is the quirky Aretha Frankensteins with delicious, yet strange-looking blueberry pancakes. Just don't go there expecting expeditious service - Chattanooga is definitely on it's own time.
If you want to really splurge (at least on fat and calories), try Wally's for some down-home cookin'. Their peach cobbler is to die for. And, the place has been around since 1937.
First, why the name? My favorite trend-forecasting newsletter www.trendwatching.com used the phrase "Itgredients" in the most recent issue and I thought it was perfect. All of the postings to this blog will be ingredients for a better life - and things that I think are "It"! I'm hoping it will prove both informative and fun -- and continue to inspire creative thought around all things artistic, fashionable, delicious and just plain intriguing.
I also hope that friends, family and colleagues will contribute posts of things that make their lives hum as well.